The Sadvent Calendar

Toronto FC

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 23

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"MARINER'S SHORTS"  

Like that hackneyed joke inside of a Christmas cracker, this one has been beaten to death. Paul Mariner the blustery and brief TFC manager did himself few favours during his spell at The Reds' helm. Bombastic statements, fiery exchanges and gag transfers didn't endear him to too many supporters but most got a good giggle out of his penchant for short pants no matter the weather conditions.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 22

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"THE CHIP BUTTY"

In their original quest to pander to all of Toronto's wacky multicultural cuisines, TFC decided that one of the "English" things most eaten at (no) Premier League grounds was the mighty Chip Butty. The unholy alliance of chips (aka freedom fries) and buttered white bread was supposed to be "a right ol' Cockney knees-up" of a meal but like all things TFC - they just didn't quite do it right.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 20

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"THE NEVERENDING BRENNAN"

Like that fruit cake that always ends up on the Christmas dinner table, the "Original Red" Jim Brennan always turns up. After captaining the team for a couple of years in a cozy blanket fashion with GM Mo Johnston, "Jimmy B" was put out to pasture on the Wall of "Honour" before taking up his new job as qualified Assistant General Manager.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 18

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"THE SACRIFICIAL CRONIN"

Selected 2nd overall in the SuperDraft and with a bright future ahead of him, the talented MLS stalwart Sam Cronin had the gall to tell the truth - after TFC had been blown out 5-0 at New York - that The Reds' locker room was a toxic mess. While the team "captain" assured all that everything was just peachy, Cronin was shuffled off to San Jose for our old friend allocation money.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 17

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"MAICON SANTOS AND/OR MIKE SANDERS"  

Christmas may come once a year there were always two Maicon Santoses. On the surface was the Brazilian samba magic forward with hinted silky skills and smooth dance rhythms at the corner flag. On the pitch was most often his plumbing North American alter ego Mike Sanders with the touch and vision of the most miserable of USL blunt instruments.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 15

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"MOST. RELEVANT. ANIMAL. CAMEO. EVER."  
Sometimes you can't make this stuff up. In the long waning days of the horrid 2012 TFC season, Reds goalkeeper Freddy Hall (!!!) looked up from yet another opposition attack to see a black cat emerge from the bowels of BMO Field and run directly across his goal mouth.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 14

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"A VERY SCOTTISH SOJOURN"
"Who's what in the where now?" The not direct-quote of TFC's former director of player personnel Earl Cochrane after the whole football world knew that under-contract TFC star Dwayne De Rosario was training with Glasgow giants Celtic. TFC claimed they knew nothing of it; De Ro's reps said the opposite; De Ro did keepie-uppies next to Freddie Ljungberg in a Celtic kit.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 12

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"INUKSHUKS!"  

What better way to ingratiate oneself with your new homeland than embracing a beloved symbol? Well at least a symbol that is co-opted for the Olympics and when the government pretends to care about the First Nations. Yes, the mighty Inuit Inukshuk was chosen by club president Kevin Payne as the most apt representation of how TFC should build itself.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 11

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"THE JOY OF ALEN STEVANOVIC"
A new era was upon us! (Again) Aron Winter & Co. with their vast European network would surely poach the UEFA Christmas Markets and secure us a vast array of talent unseen in these parts! The first of which was Torino-loanee Alen Stevanovic. This highly-touted hotshot would surely make us all forget about the departure of Dwayne De Rosario!

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 10

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"THE ARGOS TO BMO"   A true holiday classic. In that no matter what year it is - this story is always told. Like a reverse mistle-toe hanging over TFC supporters' heads since 2007, it is the story we all want to throw in the fireplace. But alas, like the wise men finding their way by the shining glow of Pinball Clemons' teeth, this one just keeps showing up.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 9

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"THE COMING OF FORLAN"   Before #LeiwekeLeaks were cool, Kevin Payne had his own brand of loose lippage. Early in 2013, as TFC fell ass-backwards out of another gate, the rumour that Uruguayan sensation Diego Forlan would soon be jetting up to CrackTown USA aka Toronto, was rampant.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 8

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"THE WORST TEAM IN THE WORLD"
  Like "Hallelujah" from upon high - except with a wacky Dutch accent. Once-prolific striker/always prolific eater, Danny Koevermans was the first TFC player to come out and say exactly what supporters already knew: that TFC were probably "the worst team in the world".

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 7

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"THE GIFTING OF DUNIVANT"
Under the sage guidance of Maurice Johnston, TFC players barely had time to buy a bed before being hurtled across the continent to a new destination. After a mere 27 appearances, Johnston felt that Todd Dunivant could be improved upon and was sent to LA Galaxy for that mysterious Secret Santa gift "allocation money".

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 6

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"PREKI'S SMILE"

Even the most hardened of Bah! Humbuggards would be melted by the alluring, warm smile of former TFC manager Predrag "Preki" Radosavljevic. When he wasn't grinding out draws with eleven men back, dispatching talented players elsewhere for drone-like replacements or blaming "Canadian guys", Preki was lighting up a room with his friendly, charming manner.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 5

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"THE TALE OF MAXI URRUTI"   Imagine if Sadvent was six months long. Then imagine waking up on Christmas morning, unwrapping your shiny, expensive imported gift you had been teased with for so long only for your parents to let you play with it for 37 minutes before giving to that hipster kid down the street.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 4

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"THE WINTER OF 0-9"   Hailing from a country with such dubious Christmas traditions as "Zwarte Piet" you may think that Dutchman Aron Winter was being a downright Grinch. Not true though, the very likeable Pitymeister was just in the wrong job in the wrong league under the wrong ownership.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 3

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"A TAXI FOR DAN GARGAN"   Few TFC transactions over the years can so consummately sum up the lack of preparation this club has during pre-season as this one. With barely enough players to fill a bench, Kringle-esque GM Maurice Johnston signed blue-collar plumber trialist Dan Gargan so late that the defender had to change into his kit in a taxi bound for Columbus' Crew Stadium.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 2

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#LEIWEKELEAKS
 
What finer a holiday tradition than some homemade #hashtaggery? Courtesy of our jolly MLSE President Tim Leiweke who has never met a microphone that he doesn't immediately fall deeply in love with. While his loose lips aren't taking down western governments they do try to continually grease the rusty, black gears that used to be a TFC supporter's heart.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 1

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The humble, centuries old multi-faith celebration of Black Friday has passed and alas, December is upon us. As the Western World hurtles ass-over-tit towards the holiday season, we here at The Yorkies want to take the time to pause and reflect upon the traditions of the Yuletide period.

It's not all about waking up on Christmas morning and getting the new ColecoVision or whatever the kids on the streetz want nowadays.

The Rest

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 24

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"NEW YORK 5 - TORONTO 0"  

Like a Christmas miracle, TFC had somehow ended up mathematically in the MLS playoff hunt under the stewardship of young interim manager Chris Cummins. All they needed was a good result on the last day of the season, away at previously lowly New York Red Bulls.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 21

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"TRIALS AND GAMBIANS"

You know that weird aunt you have who travels a lot and then shows up at the holidays with a gift and says "It's homemade... I got it in The Gambia!"? Yeah. Like that - except with humans. Part of TFC's (first) Five-Year Plan was trying to persuade us that The Gambia was the new hotbed of African football and that TFC had the pipeline for the likes of Emmanuel Gomez and Amadou Sanyang.

The Toronto Sadvent Calendar: Day 19

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"THE LOST YEAR OF ELBEKAY BOUCHIBA"
Total Football etc! The Dutch revolution had begun and a trio of Hollandaise-covered players had arrived under Aron Winter's management. The most alluring of the three was sturdy defensive midfielder Elbekay Bouchiba! Then he blew out his ACL.

The Toronto FC Sadvent Calendar: Day 13

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"THE THREE UNWISE MEN"  
Old, Dutchnonsense and er... Silva. Yes "The Escobar 3" brought TFC PR to an all-time laughable low as Miguel Aceval, Nick Soolsma and Luis Silva were arrested after a punch-up and failed police escape outside of a Houston nightclub. Their TFC careers are now all long history but their freedom was at least spared by generous mystery benefactor, one "Julian B.